Hepatitis B Foundation's Joan Block Receives 2010 Philadelphia Business Journal's Woman of Distinction Award

Top Quote Global Nonprofit Co-Founder from Bucks County, Pa., Recognized for Leadership, Advocacy and Community Work toward the Eradication of Hepatitis B. End Quote
  • Philadelphia, PA-NJ (1888PressRelease) November 04, 2010 - The Hepatitis B Foundation, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2011 as the global authority dedicated to eradicating hepatitis B worldwide, is proud to announce that Joan Block, RN, BSN, executive director and co-founder, has been named a 2010 Philadelphia Business Journal Woman of Distinction.

    "I am truly humbled by this honor from the Philadelphia Business Journal," said Block. "As a nonprofit healthcare advocate, my passion and drive to eradicate hepatitis B have been at the crux of my professional life for the last 20 years. I believe that Margaret Mead said it best, 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.' And the women that I am being recognized with are among the leaders who are all working to make change."

    Award recipients were chosen based on their outstanding professional accomplishments and active community involvement. Honorees will be recognized at an awards banquet on Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at the Sheraton City Center in Philadelphia. To purchase tickets, visit http://events.bizjournals.com/13321.

    "Philadelphia Business Journal is thrilled to honor women who are true role models in our region in professional achievement and in community service," said Craig Ey, editor of Philadelphia Business Journal. "The 2010 Women of Distinction winners, in particular, embody all of what makes the Philadelphia region great; people who are very talented, passionate about what they do and committed to personal, professional and community success."

    The Hepatitis B Foundation was founded in 1991 by Block, her husband, and Paul and Janine Witte in New Hope, Pa., in response to a young family affected by hepatitis B. Their goal was to find a cure and help those affected worldwide. Today, the Foundation has grown from a kitchen grassroots efforts into a professional organization with a global reach. The Foundation's offices and research labs now reside in an 110,000-square-foot, $14 million major research facility in Bucks County, Pa., which the Foundation opened in 2006.

    Under Block's leadership and management, a comprehensive outreach and education program was created that now includes an award-winning website (www.hepb.org); multi-platform, multi-lingual educational materials and newsletters; offers e-mail/phone helplines; sponsors the only national patient conference for hepatitis B; and conducts public health research with community partners - their findings published in peer-reviewed journals. The Foundation's research program funds the nation's largest concentration of scientists focused on hepatitis B drug discovery; coordinates annual international meetings held in the U.S., Europe, and Asia; coordinates summer research internships for high school and college students; and much more.

    Block serves on the board of the Hepatitis B Foundation, Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, Medical Advisory Board of PKIDs (Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases), Project Prevent (HIV education), and the Executive Committee of the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable. She is a member of the National Hepatitis B Task Force: Focus on AAPIs, the Hepatitis B Expert Panel of the Office of Minority Health, and former board member of the American Liver Foundation (1998-2001). Block received a BS in Biology from Goshen College and her BSN from Thomas Jefferson University. Her nursing experience encompasses pediatric oncology, adult cardiac care, and nursing education.

    Hepatitis B has infected one in three people worldwide, which includes one in 20 Americans, and tragically kills one million people each year from its ravaging effects. This silent but deadly epidemic has motivated Block to dedicate 20 years of her professional life to help eradicate hepatitis B - all while raising two children. As a registered nurse and nonprofit executive, Block has capitalized on her talents and experiences to become a leading champion for the 400 million people worldwide who are chronically infected with hepatitis B.

    About the Hepatitis B Foundation: The Hepatitis B Foundation, celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2011 as the global authority dedicated to eradicating hepatitis B, is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected with hepatitis B worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. It is headquartered in the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, which it created to accelerate its research mission. To learn more, visit www.hepb.org or call (215) 489-4900.

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